The Sir Bobby Charlton Centre in Amman soon to celebrate first anniversary

Later this month, Find A Better Way will be celebrating a year since the first Sir Bobby Charlton Centre was opened in Amman, Jordan. To mark the occasion and report back on a year of progress, Find A Better Way Partnership Advisor John Wallace travelled to Amman in late July to see first hand the amazing work the team there are doing every day to help refugees suffering from physical and mental trauma.

Upon arrival in Amman, John was immediately asked to present certificates to five newly-graduated Peer Support trainees who had just completed a three-month course. The programme trains people, many with disabilities, who have been through conflict experiences themselves and are now in a strong enough position to help others with the same challenges.

Key goals include helping conflict survivors come to terms with their disability, helping them become active members of the community, and helping them avoid the issues with physical and mental health that many trauma survivors struggle with. Besides the natural empathy Peer Supporters have when helping other conflict survivors, they can also speak with a level of authority and credibility that other support workers cannot.

After sitting in on a class for the next intake of Peer Support trainees, John also observed the expressive art therapy classes the Centre runs for children with PTSD, and physical therapy sessions for those with conflict related injuries.

As well as observing Centre staff directly help those with mental and physical injuries, the Centre also provides regular training sessions to help spread their knowledge to the wider refugee community.

After a week in Jordan, John is now back in the UK helping Find A Better Way organise the opening of the second Sir Bobby Charlton Centre in Cambodia. The team in Jordan, led by director Akram Al Ramini, have set a high standard for other centres to follow.

“Everyone I spoke to receiving care at the Centre was positive about the experience they have had,” John said. “I was really impressed by the quality of the service and professionalism of the staff at the Sir Bobby Charlton Centre in Amman. They deserve every bit of praise they get. They are all tremendously dedicated, and will do whatever is required to get the job done.”